Georgia Deer:   An estimated population of 1.27 million deer in 2016.  About 1.1 million deer in 2015, down from 1.2 million deer in 2014.  Estimated at 900,000 to 1 million in 2011 to 2013.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Georgia deer hunting data and news archive.

Georgia Deer News

Red Top to close for managed deer hunt Tuesday, Wednesday November 11, 2017 Georgia, Daily Tribune News
... Started in 2006 ... “The current population estimate is up approximately 20 percent — roughly 82 deer/square mile — from 2015, which aligns with a hiatus of the 2016 hunt season. ... An end goal for deer/square mile following the managed hunt would be 35 [to] 45.” ...

Firearms deer hunting season opens this weekend in Georgia October 17, 2017 Georgia, MDJOnline.com
... During firearms deer season last year, almost 320,000 hunters harvested 260,765 deer ... Hunters are allowed a harvest of up to 10 antlerless deer and no more than two antlered deer ...

Georgia 2017-2018 Hunting Regulations Major Changes July 17, 2017 DNR News
... Georgia’s hunting and fishing licenses have been restructured. Customers will now need fewer licenses, and fees have increased... There will also be many new either-sex day opportunities to take advantage of this year during deer season. The Ridge, Valley and Piedmont regions have 21 additional either-sex days, and the lower coastal plains region added an additional 14...

Coyote Removal Helps Georgia wildlife June 12, 2017 Georgia, 41 NBC News
... About 70,000 coyotes are killed during deer season ... Kevin Kramer, Region Supervisor for Game Management Region 4, said it’s important for hunters to kill coyotes to save baby deer...

Georgia DNR investigates dead deer duct taped to sign May 31, 2017 WCTV
... the dead deer placed onto a folding chair, forced into clothing, and duct taped to a street sign on the side of the Willacoochee Highway...

Coyote Challenge offers Georgia hunters prizes for kills May 30, 2017 Georgia, Forsyth County News Online
... DNR plans to continue its coyote challenge from April to August next year, Johannsen said. That covers fawning season for deer ... More than 160 coyotes have been killed across the state since the Georgia Department of Natural Resource’s coyote challenge started in April...

Coyote challenge pales compared to deer hunters April 30, 2017 Georgia, Cherokee Tribune Ledger News
... An estimated 50,000 coyotes are killed each year by deer hunters in Georgia ...  hunters take more than 300,000 deer each season, about one-third of the estimated more than one million deer in Georgia...

Gov. Deal signs House Bill 208 April 25, 2017 Georgia, Post Searchlight
...  resident hunting license fees from $10 to $15. For deer or turkey, the annual license fee would jump from $9 to $20...

'Georgia Coyote Challenge' puts canine in cross-hairs March 14, 2017 Georgia, Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)
... Georgia’s deer population is where the DNR wants it ... On average hunters kill about 350,000 deer annually and 50,000 coyotes annually ... the 33 coyotes taken in the “Challenge” seems like a really small number...

... In a letter to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), eighteen scientists with Project Coyote ... point to the DNR’s contradictory position on organized coyote killing programs, citing the Georgia Deer Management Plan (2015-2024), which was prepared by the DNR and states: “Coyote bounties [are] viewed as an ineffective tool...

Bobcats breeding on Jekyll Island February 21, 2017, Florida, Florida Times-Union
...  discovery of two adult and two juvenile bobcats on the 5,700-acre island, ... the carcass of a 50-pound doe that had been attacked and killed. The deer had been attacked in the neck while bedded down in heavy brush, he said. “The deer didn’t have a chance,” ...

Georgia wildlife managers want more coyote hunting February 17, 2017 Online Athens
... “Currently, scientific research suggests that removal of coyotes during the spring and summer is the most advantageous time to reduce the impact of predation on native wildlife,” ...

Forsyth senator introduces bill for deer hunting season February 14, 2017 Georgia, Forsyth County News Online
... Senate Bill 122, which would create a statewide season for deer hunting and extend the length of time firearms may be used for the sport...

... natural fires are allowed to burn and “prescribed burns” are set in many natural areas, that’s not possible on Jekyll Island because of the number of homes, hotels and other structures.  “It might be fire suppression is having a bigger effect than the deer,” said University of Georgia professor Elizabeth King ...

Deer Population January 5, 2017 Georgia, Georgia Wildlife Resources Division 
     Currently, the estimated deer population in Georgia is 1.27 million... 

Balanced deer herd takes time and perseverance December 24, 2016 Georgia, Albany Herald
...  “One of the most important is the length of the rut. In a deer herd with a balanced number of does and antlered bucks, nearly all does will be bred during first estrous, usually over a short period of about two weeks. Does in an unbalanced herd will have to ‘recycle’ and be bred over a two- to three-month period or even longer.” ...

A deer -- once trapped and unable to move -- is now running free, thanks to some helpful Alpharetta first responders. Check out this video. According to the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety’s Facebook page, fire crews and police officers found the deer entangled and trapped. - December 22, 2016 Georgia


... the Whitewater Creek Country Club subdivision recently told residents it plans to cull part of the whitetail deer population ... The HOA’s decision to unilaterally cull the herd has angered the residents who say the plan undermines the reason many people moved to the community...

Collateral damage: Many deer collisions may be avoidable October 27, 2016 Georgia, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
... As crops are harvested and the deer’s food sources are reduced, the green grass found alongside our state’s roads becomes more appealing. Additionally, bucks chasing does for reproductive purposes put both in more danger of crossing in front of a moving vehicle without noticing...

Fayetville, Whitewater Creek deer debate continues October 24, 2016 Georgia, Atlanta Journal Constitution
... about 30 residents opposing the plan to petition for a special meeting that would allow homeowners to vote ...
      Residents out to protect deer under siege October 19, 2016 Georgia, Fayette Newspapers
... Residents of the Whitewater Creek subdivision and surrounding neighborhoods spoke out at Thursday’s Fayette County Board of Commissioners meeting asking for the county’s support in stopping their homeowner’s association from killing deer... Wildlife Services is allowed to use high-powered rifles with noise suppressors ....

MJ Cherry, KE Morgan, BT Rutledge, LM Conner… Georgia - Ecosphere, 2016
... evaluated effects of temporal variation in predation risk (i.e., coyote–deer ratios) on fecundity and reproductive success of white-tailed deer on the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center in southwestern Georgia ... a rapid decline in coyote abundance to establish a natural experiment ... incidence of ovulation and lactation increased following the decline in predation risk. Our results suggest coyotes may be able to influence deer recruitment, independent of direct predation, through interactions that result in reduced fecundity...

Primitive weapons deer hunting season opens Saturday October 15, 2016 Georgia, MDJOnline.com
... more than 45,500 hunters took advantage of the primitive weapons season last year ...

Fayetteville, Whitewater Country Club HOA to trim deer population with some residents opposing October 13, 2016 Georgia, The Citizen.com
... A petition objecting to the move, with signatures from Whitewater Creek residents and those from other locations in Fayette County, has been posted on www.change.org The petition entitled “Stop the Whitewater Creek HOA board from ‘eradicating’ the deer” objects to plans for baiting and shooting deer on the HOA property...

Georgia Deer Forecast for 2016 October 11, 2016 Game & Fish
... I expect deer sightings to be up in the 2016-2017 season due to the decreased harvest last year; we’re going to have more fawns hitting the ground, and if you look at our fawn recruitment rate from last year it was a little on the higher side ...

Fayetteville neighborhood disagrees over deer control October 11, 2016 Georgia,
FOX 5 Atlanta
... the HOA passed a deer eradication program without much prior notice to residents at a sparsely attended meeting ... the federal agency plans to use high powered rifles with noise suppressors, infrared and night vision technologies to control the deer population at the subdivision...

Monroe Co. deer trace roots only to 1940's September 28, 2016 Georgia, Monroe County Reporter
... When Europeans first set foot in North America, white-tailed deer were found throughout what is now Georgia. However, as settlers ventured into the interior of the state, whitetails were quickly extirpated... Georgia sought and was granted permission to trap deer in the Kentucky Woodland Refuge. Between 1939 and 1944 some 344 deer were trapped there and released ...

Lake Oconee News
...When the pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, the whitetail population was estimated at more than 24 million. The settlers quickly dropped their number because their food was considered a delicacy and by the middle of the 1800's their population had declined to about 12 million.  During a period in the late 1800's, their numbers were further depleted and nationwide only about 500,000 deer remained in the United States. The entire population of deer was almost completely wiped out in Georgia...

Archer deer season starts Sept. 10 September 2, 2016 Georgia, jacksonprogress-argus
... Hunters are allowed a season bag limit of 10 antlerless deer and two antlered deer. One of the two antlered deer must have a minimum of four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers...

     Last year, 132,641 archery hunters harvested more than 66,039 deer. Statewide, hunters can use archery equipment throughout the entire 2016-2017 deer season (ending Jan. 8, 2017).  “The early part of archery season occurs before mature bucks shift into their fall movement patterns,” said state deer program coordinator Charlie Killmaster.  “With their home range near its smallest at this time of year, hunters should concentrate on food sources closest to thick cover for the best chance at an early-season buck.” ...

Deer and turkey management on in-common habitat August 21, 2016 Georgia, The Albany Herald
... it has been well documented that prescribed fire with dormant and/or growing-season burns enhances the production of herbaceous forages and removes invasive and undesirable woody plants. This is especially important in pine plantations and mixed pine-hardwood landscapes. Deer and turkeys live at the ground layer, where burning is most effective...

Blythe Island, Finance committee denies request to thin deer numbers in Blythe Island Regional Park  August 10, 2016 Georgia, Brunswick News
... Park staff on the other hand have not had any problems with deer and have not received any complaints about deer from park guests... County Finance Committee unanimously recommended Tuesday that the Glynn County Commission deny a proposal to pay the U.S. Department of Agriculture to thin the deer population ...
     County to consider culling deer in Blythe Island Regional Park August 7, 2016 Georgia, Brunswick News
... USDA wildlife biologist Jonathan Smith, who conducted a study on the deer population, said there were not enough deer to warrant a reduction in the population. But county officials continue to receive complaints ... deer will be culled by the USDA ...

... This guide provides important information on season dates, bag limits, hunting licenses, wildlife management areas, quota hunts, youth opportunities ... download pdf

Drought hitting local farmers hard July 30, 2016 Georgia, Madison Journal Today
... “The deer are hungry, the foliage is not there in the woods for them so they’re out in the fields looking for food,” ... “Our current drought actually began in March when we had less than half of our normal rainfall,” Jenkins said. “Every month since has featured well below typical rainfall, averaging about one-half of normal...

2016-17 Georgia Hunting Seasons July 22, 2016, Georgia Outdoor News
... For the second consecutive Georgia hunting season, more than half the state will experience periods of buck-only hunting during firearms deer season ...  hunters complaining of seeing fewer deer in the woods...

Deer once almost extinct in Georgia, now thriving June 30, 2016 The Catoosa County News
... While Georgia boasts around 1.2 million deer now, by 1895 the number had dwindled to near zero. Because of land-clearing for farming, and overhunting, often with packs of dogs ... In 1927 a ranger named Arthur Woody set about correcting the situation. He traveled to North Carolina and secured five fawns — one male and four females ...

Deer and cat killed at Fort McAllister State Park - reward offered June 13, 2016 Georgia, Savannah Morning News
... Fort McAllister State Park is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the apprehension of the individual(s) responsible for killing of a young deer and the park’s mascot cat, GeeChee...

Georgia data: DNR estimates 1.27 million deer in 2016.  About 1.1 million deer in 2015 based on the large decline in the 2015 deer hunt, down from 1.2 million deer in 2014.   The 1.2 million population estimate for 2014 is a correction to the estimate in the 2015-24 Deer Management Plan which calls for an increase in the herd size in the Blue Ridge Mountain region, a slight increase to a stable herd size in the Ridge & Valley region across the Piedmont and the Lower Coastal Plain, and a stable deer harvest across the Upper Coastal Plain.  
            Deer
Year    Population 
1972      253,000
1982      540,000
1992   1,211,000
1998   1,352,000
2000   1,269,000
2005      910,000
2010      970,000
2012      990,000
2014   1,000,000
From 2014-24

A new population estimate method puts the 2014 deer population at 1.2 million.
     An estimated 900,000 to 1 million deer in 2011 to 2013. The 2005 Deer Management plan intentionally reduced the herd size. In 2013, hunters requested a shorter hunting season to support the deer population.  Coyote predation and changes in the timber industry that have impacted habitat are pushing deer numbers down. Reduced doe harvest began in 2013  and continued into 2015 with fewer hunting days in a number of areas to offset predation.  About 300,000 deer hunters.  More than 1 million acres of public hunting land. 
     At the beginning of the 19th century deer were hunted to near extinction, with a few local herds remaining.[History] The first restocking began in 1927.  By 1937, the herd was estimated at about 12,500, the result of unregulated hunting.  The bulk of the restocking was from 1948 to 1965 and continued into the early 1980's. Conservation efforts brought the population to about 220,000 by 1972, peaking at about 1.4 million in 1998 according to the management plan.  Another source puts the population peak around 2005 at 1.6 to 1.7 million. An estimated 1.3 million in 2001.  In the early 1980's, does accounted for only about a quarter of the harvest, an effort to boost the population.  Yearling bucks were the majority of the deer taken.  Since 2002 the state has focused on balanced demographics, with the doe harvest about 60 percent of the total through 2012. 

Poacher Hotline:  The public can reach the TIP hotline by dialing 1-800-241-4113, by dialing *DNR on a cell phone, or by sending an email to RangerHotline@dnr.state.ga.us   Those reporting should try to obtain the following information: the type of violation, a description of the violator, description of the violator’s vehicle, and the date, time and location of the violation.

Georgia DNR Wildlife News

Other useful links:
Amicalola Deer Park in Dawsonville, North Georgia